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Michelin is all set for the resumption of the 2017 MotoGP™ World Championship as the spectacle heads to Brno for the Monster Energy Grand Prix České Republiky and the 10th round of this already fascinating season.
Michelin’s ability to produce tyres for all manufacturers and rider styles, plus the continued search to match the correct compounds to all the different tracks has in part helped to produce the tightest championship for years, and when the riders take to the track at the 5,403m Brno Grand Prix circuit, the top-four respectively of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will be separated by just 10-points.
The French tyre firm will bring MICHELIN Power Slick tyres to Brno specifically matched to the medium abrasiveness of the circuit and to take into account the hard-braking areas, powerful acceleration zones and the undulating nature of the track – which features elevation changes of over 70m between the highest and lowest points of the circuit. The soft, medium and hard front slicks will be a symmetrical design, whilst the same density selection of rears will feature an asymmetric pattern, despite the track being more evenly balanced with its six left turns and eight right-handers, the speed of these turns means greater demands go through the right shoulder of the tyre, necessitating the need for a harder compound on that side.
The Masaryk Circuit, more commonly known as the Automotodrom Brno, is situated in the south-east of the Czech Republic. Its location is approximately 200km from the country’s capital Prague and is located close to the borders of Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland and with its position of being the most eastern European race of the year, it always makes for a well-attended event. Like recent races at Assen and Sachsenring, the original Brno race was held on streets and went through neighbouring villages, before the current enclosed track – which features a golf course within the layout – was built in 1987. The hillsides that surround the circuit create a natural viewing area, where a fantastic atmosphere is produced by the huge crowds that gather on them during the weekend.
With its location, Brno is also susceptible to inclement weather – as last year’s race showed – so to cover all eventualities the range of MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available in soft and medium compounds for the front and rear, with just the rear medium featuring an asymmetric design with the harder right-hand-side similar to the slick versions.
Michelin and the riders resume track action on Friday 4th August for the first two of the four free practice sessions, with another free practice the following morning followed by the final one in the afternoon, just before excitement of the qualifying sessions when grid places for Sunday’s 22-lap race will be decided. The main event will get underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs BST, 12.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 6th August.
Piero Taramasso (Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager): “It’s great to get back to racing action after the mid-season break, although we have been working throughout as we continue to analyse the data from the first nine races and look at the strategies for the rest of the year, starting with the race at Brno. This is certainly a complex circuit and always a big test for the tyres. It’s a wide track with many elevation changes and a wide variety of corners. The hard-braking downhill zones place extra load on the front and then consistent and stable rear grip is needed to force the acceleration of the bikes on to the asphalt. This puts a lot of stress and demands on both the front and rear tyres, so we need to have rubber that can cope with almost everything. Last year we had a wet race, but prior to that the track was dry and we saw some very fast lap-times, we would like it to be fine this weekend so we can show what the slicks can do over a race distance and give the riders the grip and consistency they need to put on a good show for the huge crowds expected at Brno.”
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